Chances are if you're here, you are at least a little bit like me. The thrill of saving some money and the pride in creating something yourself gets your heart going a little bit faster. Trust me friends, I'm the coupon queen. I will scour the internet for hours looking for a coupon code to save 5%. I have abandoned my fair share of carts over the years when my search comes up empty handed. One lesson I learned the hard way is that we aren't always supposed to "DIY" shit. There are professionals across different industries for reasons - sometimes you don't realize it until the mistake has happened. Am I saying you can't have the most amazing invitations you did all by yourself? Heck no! I did it. But also know, I made some legitimately embarrassing mistakes throughout the process.
If you're convinced that you making them on your own is the way to go, let me offer a few pieces of advice to help you avoid some common and not so common blunders.
1. Check your guest list. And then check it again. My first mistake when making my save the date invitations? I made enough for every person attending my wedding not taking into account families, couples and households. Whoops! I went from making 310 invitations to only sending 129. Yep, 129. I couldn't bring myself to pitch the overstock so they are in a drawer in my office and any time I need a chuckle, I open the drawer and laugh.2. Give yourself time! Seriously. Don't try to whip these up and get them in the mail in a day. It won't happen. How much time do you need? Depends on how many you're sending (see bullet 1 - haha). It also depends on how many pieces you're including in your suite and if you're going to be securing them with a belly band or twine/ribbon. When I'm working on an order of invitations I like to allow a little extra time for processing an order "just in case" something happens (printer dies, I run out of ink, I messed up all of my extra envelopes - which reminds me, always order extra envelopes). I've found staging helps. I take a day to run prints. Then, I take a day to cut everything to size. I give myself another day for assembly and then a final day (or two) for addressing and stuffing. It's always a good idea to bring one finished invitation, in an envelope, to your local post office to be weighed to ensure proper postage is on them. You'd hate to get them back in the mail.
3. Check your information. It's probably worthwhile to have a friend, your partner or a family member do a once-over as well. Check dates (make sure your day and date match), your time and address are all correct. Seems easy enough but you'd be surprised how many invitations go out every year where the day and the date don't align.
4. While you're checking your details, take a peek at the language used. Girls generally come first in order of importance (I'm just saying). If it's a formal, church wedding, it's appropriate to use: Request the honor of your presence. Less formal and non-religious venue: Request the pleasure of your company. Avoid at all costs saying: Invite you to celebrate their marriage. A marriage happens AFTER the wedding. This is the wedding. Unless of course, you're having a party a week after the wedding to celebrate how awesome you both are crushing married life.
5. Keep your registry off of your invitation. Wait, what?! How are people going to know what to bring you? Bad news...that's not what weddings are for. That is however, what bridal showers are for and it's super appropriate to include all of that information on your bridal shower invitation. Generally speaking, gifts are for showers and money is given at weddings. If Grandma insists on buying you new china for your wedding day, she can call Mom and ask where you're registered. Related, skip the corny poems about wanting moo-la for your honeymoon or remodel project. It's tacky. If you MUST, make a wedding website with all of that information and include the url on your details card.
6. Number your RSVP cards. Seems silly right? I promise you will get at least a few back without any names on them and then you're left trying to figure out who replied that they will be in attendance with 12 other people on their reply card. Before we sent ours out, I numbered my guest list and on the backside of each RSVP card in the corner, I wrote their corresponding number from my list. Worried about hurt feelings in the numbering system? Get a black light pen, your guests will never even see the marking.
If you're still like, "Ali, I got this," I'm wishing you well. Seriously, I am. I love when creative people set their mind to something and crush it. That's how this business started.
If you do it and don't exactly crush it, let me know where you blundered. We can laugh together.